Pathologists are warning against putting too much trust in a rapid, finger-prick coronavirus test, saying that they may miss people who are in the early stages of infection.

According to The Advertiser, the Royal Australian College of Pathologists are urging that Australians remain cautious, despite a widespread rollout of the test kits.

Many companies across the country are planning on offering the tests to employees as an added precaution, with the 15-minute turnaround an attractive prospect.

However, the tests only pick up the presence of the virus once a person has developed antibodies, meaning that people could be infectious while still returning a negative result.

“Patients may only make antibodies to COVID-19 infection a week to 12 days after they first become sick, therefore, if doctors rely on these rapid tests early in the disease, their diagnosis will be wrong,” the president of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia Dr Michael Dray told The Advertiser.

So far, over 250,000 tests have been undertaken with around 1 per cent of tests returning positive results.